Argentinas Horacio Carbonetti and Scotland's Bill Longmuir both produced golf almost as hot as the weather when they carded flawless rounds of seven under par 65 to move into a share of the lead after the first round of the Tunisian Seniors Open at El Kantaoui Golf Club.
Carbonetti and Longmuir shared 12 birdies and an eagle between them to go into the second round one shot ahead of Australia's David Good and Waless Geoff
Tickell. Defending champion, Denis O'Sullivan, chasing his first win of the season, carded a five under par 67 to share fifth place with England's Denis Durnian and Americans, Jerry Bruner and Steve Stull, while Giuseppe Cali, Neville Clarke, Alberto Croce, Martin Gray, Nick Job, Eddie Polland and Dragon Taki all recorded rounds of four under par 68.
Longmuir arrived in Africa having finished tied second behind Carl Mason at last week's Merseyside English Seniors Open at Hillside and he wasted no time moving to the top of the leaderboard with a birdie at the 376 yard par four opeing hole.
The golfers had to cope with temperatures well into the nineties but that did not stop the Scot carding further birdies at the tenth, the 11th and the 13th before finishing his round with fours at both the 525 yard par five 16th and
the 607 yard par five 18th."
"I'm absolutely exhausted," said Longmuir who has won twice to date this season at the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship. "The heat is brutal out there. The last hour was horrendous."
Carbonetti won the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open earlier this season and he returned to that sort of form with a fine round that included five birdies and an eagle.
The Argentinian carded birdies at the second, tenth and 11th and then picked up another four shots to par when he eagled the 525 yard par five 16th, birdied the 341 yard 17th and birdied the 607 yard par five 18th.
Thats the best finish I have had for quite a while, said the medallist at the 2002 Seniors Tour Qualifying School. "The eagle at the 16th was a real bonus. I
hit a drive and a five wood to about eight feet. The putt looked in from the moment I hit it.
Tickell has not been feeling well since he arrived in North Africa but that that did not stop him hitting 18 greens in regulation in the temperatures rising to 40 degrees.
The Welshman was three under par when he left the 15th green but also produced a fast finish with a birdie on the 16th and an eagle on the 18th .
"Thats the best I have played for quite some time, said the Welshman who is languishing in 80th place on the Seniors Tour Order of Merit with earnings of just under £7,000. "I didnt miss a single green and its not every day you can say that. The strange thing is that it could have been even better because I took three putts on both the seventh and the 11th.
Good lead the field after 36 holes at last weeks Merseyside English Seniors Open at Hillside and displayed the same sort of form while carding six birdies
and 12 pars in his opening round.
"Its always good to get round without dropping a shot but I honestly think I left a couple of shots out there, he said. "I didnt birdie either of the par fives coming home. I also lipped out a couple of times so it definitely could
have been better."
O'Sullivan, fresh from two second place finishes in his last two starts, made a storming start to a tournament he won last year with a 14 under par aggregate of 202. He moved to six under par after birdies at the fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and 12 but then dropped shots at the 13th and 14th before retrieving some of the damage with a birdie on the 16th hole.
"For a while I thought I could score 60 or 61," said the former Irish amateur champion from Cork. "I was absolutely motoring but three-putts at the 13th and
14th halted the momentum and I couldn't really get going after that."
Meanwhile O'Sullivan's compatriot, Eamonn Darcy, made as solid start, posting a 69 to finish tied alongside Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, Italy's Baldovino Dassu, England's Bob Larratt, America's Bob Lendzion and England's Jim Rhodes.